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Zimbabwe Reiterates Civil Servants Are Banned From Holding Political Office

8 months agoSun, 04 Jun 2023 10:28:47 GMT
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Zimbabwe Reiterates Civil Servants Are Banned From Holding Political Office

The Zimbabwean government has reiterated that civil servants are banned from holding any political party office. A “confidential” memo dated May 17, 2023, was sent out by the Public Service Commission, which regulates the behavior of civil servants, outlining conduct with regards to political activities in government.

The memo emphasized that no member of the civil service may act in a partisan manner, further the interests of any political party or cause, prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause, or violate the fundamental rights or freedoms of any person. Moreover, members of the civil service must not hold any political party office.

The circular provided a procedure that members of the Public Service who intend to stand as candidates for parliamentary and local government elections must follow. They should submit a letter notifying the commission of their intentions and will be deemed to have resigned from the Public Service once their nomination is accepted.

The memo also stated that former members who lost elections could be reappointed provided a suitable post exists, and the interpretation of the circular rests with the Public Service. Heads of ministries were directed to ensure that every member has sight of the memo by May 30, 2023. This new memo replaces all previous circulars dealing with the participation of members in harmonized elections. Reads the memo:

PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE

1.1 The conduct of members of the Public Service with regards to Participation in political activities in government by Section 200 (3) and (4) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act, 2013. Section 200 (3) and (4) provides as follows;

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No member of the Civil Service may, in the exercise of their functions – (a) act in a partisan manner; (b) further the interests of any political party or cause; (c) prejudice the lawful interests of any political party or cause; or (d) violate the fundamental rights or freedoms of any person. Members of the Civil Service must not be office-bearers of any political party.

2.0 PROCEDURE FOR PARTICIPATION IN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES BY MEMBER

2.1 This Circular serves to provide the ‘procedure to be followed by members of the Public Service who intend to stand as candidates for Parliamentary and Local Government elections.

2.2 A member of the Public Service who wishes to become a candidate for election to a local authority or has been nominated AS a candidate by a political party, political organisation or political movement or declares himself/herself as a candidate for election to Parliament or local authority shall submit, in writing a letter notifying the Commission of his/her intentions. The member shall be deemed to have resigned from the Public Service with effect from the date that the authority is granted for those seeking election to a local authority.

2.3 A member of the Public Service who wishes to seek election to Parliament shall be deemed to have resigned from the Public Service with effect from the date of acceptance of his nomination by the nomination court.

2.4 A member who submits his/her candidature to a duly constituted Nomination Court and accepted as a candidate for election to Parliament or Local Authority with or without satisfying the procedure outlined in paragraphs 2.2 above shall be deemed to have resigned or retired from the Public Service with immediate effect.

2.5 A person who has ceased to be a member A the Public Service and who fails to secure or abandons his/her candidature or fails to be elected to Parliament or local authority, may apply in writing to the Commission for reappointment within 30 days after the holding of elections. ‘This only applies in cases that the former member shall not have filed an application to have results of the elections reviewed by a court of law.

2.4 A member, who has challenged the results in an Electoral Court, may only apply for reappointment to the Public Service alter finalisation of the petition.

2.5 Former members who have lost in elections may be reappointed provided a suitable post exists and subject to such tents and conditions as Commission may to an office or post in the Public Service.-

2.6 This Circular cancels and replaces all previous Circulars dealing participation of members in harmonised elections.

2.7 Heads of Ministries are being directed to obtain proof by not later than 30 May 2023 showing that eve, member has had sight of this Circular.

3.0 The interpretation of this Circular rests with the Public Service.

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